If you are contemplating going it alone and becoming your own boss, you are not alone. The past decade has seen an explosion in new business startups for a whole host of reasons. In part, it is down to the difficulties faced in the broader economy. Corporate giants have tightened their belts and lucrative career opportunities are harder to find. For another, the internet age has reduced barriers to entry. Startup costs far lower than they once were as a result. Planning a business startup can help you launch a successful business, if it’s done right.
Nevertheless, starting a new business and making a success of it is hugely challenging. And statistics show that 20 percent don’t even survive to see their first birthday. There are numerous ingredients to a successful startup. But here are four considerations that many people fail to give enough attention.
Don’t try to do everything
It’s your business and you want to run it, that’s understood. But if you are bogged down with peripheral issues, you won’t be able to devote your attention to driving the business forward to success. Outsourcing is popular among big businesses. It makes sense for running with optimum efficiency. This holds just as true, if not more so, for a startup. From bookkeeping from your local accountant to IT support from Probrand, the key is to get those non-core activities off your desk. You should want to hand off control to someone who really knows what they are doing, right from the outset. That way, everyone focuses on doing what they do best.
Fully analyze the competition
Competitor analysis will have formed a key part of your business plan, but it needs to go beyond my main competitor is Acme Co, and I can undercut them on price. Understand how they operate, both online and physically. Look at their website, and most important of all, do so from the perspective of a customer, not a competitor. What makes you want to buy from them, or what makes you want to hit the “back” button and try somewhere else? These are valuable insights that you can use to improve user experience for your own potential customers.
Never stop planning
On the subject of the business plan, this is something that many startups see as a first step, something to be written in order to acquire funding at the preliminary stage, and that can then be filed away for posterity. Yet it is the documents that provides the defining strategic principles, so it needs to always be close to the front of your mind. It should also be a living document that is constantly evolving in the weeks leading up to launch day, and beyond.
Take care of yourself
Running a business is a major responsibility, and as the owner, that responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders. Many entrepreneurs end up working 17 hour days and seven-day weeks, and that’s simply not sustainable. Aside from the impact it will have on your health and home life, it will also do more harm than good to the business, so manage yourself, as much as the business, to ensure you are working at optimum efficiency for the benefit of all concerned.